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Criteria for Selecting the Superintendent

To the Editor:

I recently went to the office of the superintendent and asked to speak to the person asking for feedback from residents on the choice of the next superintendent. I was never contacted, and so I decided as a taxpayer to list some of the criteria to consider. Will this person respond to these questions? Newtown schools are not rated in the top ten schools, what will he/she do to get us in the top rating?

Newtown high school has a drug problem that needs serious attention, what plans does he/she have?

A recent Harvard study indicated that 60% of graduates need remedial work in reading and writing when they enter college. What plan does he/she have to deal with this? A Gallup Pole of American parents identified the developing the ability to think to be as important as the three R's. What will be done to teach this skill? 

What kind of classroom teaching experience  did this person have before getting into administration?

 I sought the opportunity to speak to Dr. Jackei Jacoby, who as a member of CABE is speaking tp groups in Newtown. After leaving my name at the education office on two occasions, I never received a call. Maybe spending close to $100,000 for the search excludes contact with  individual taxpayers? I chose to write a list of criteria and questions to share with fellow residents who wish to identify similar concerns.

These are a few to consider:

With a declining enrollment, would this person consider cutting staff to save money? What would this person do to improve instruction knowing that according to recent Harvard study, some 60 percent of graduates need remedial work  entering college in writing and other language skills?  What does the this person plan to do since there is new data that the CORE program is not producing results anticipated?  Has this person had classroom instructional experience? When and for how long? What learning problems can be identified that face teachers in today’s classrooms?  Is this person kept up with the latest research in the neurosciences that provide new facts about how the mind operates in relation learning and understanding? Is this person aware of the Gallup  Poll where parents identified the ability to think as being as important as the 3R's? What program is available to do this?

Rudy Magnan

60 Watkins Drive, Sandy Hook                   October 9, 2013

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